Lent began last Wednesday. I still vividly remember my most unique Lenten memory when I was 17 years old. Our high school youth group accepted a challenge put forth by our pastor, Father Ashwell. He said, “Instead of giving up something this year, let’s try doing something as a group.” He handed all of us (about 30 teenagers) an actual thorn with a pin and challenged us to wear the pin for the entire 40 days of Lent as a sign of of our faith. The thorn signified the crown of thorns.
We all started out with a full thorn – some were larger and more prickly than others. We’d all show up at our public school with a thorn attached to our clothes, which forced us to explain this oddity. While that was part of the process, the more significant one started next. All of us at some point forgot our thorn at home, showing up to school thorn-less. Quickly one of us would help that person out by breaking off a piece of our thorn and giving it to them. As the forty days processes, all of our thorns continued to get smaller, but we all stayed the course. By Good Friday, our thorns all resembled a tiny stick. It actually became s trong bonding experience and we had fun with it.
The moral of this story was that we performed and executed as a cohesive team; we were selfless, willing to share, and putting aside any teenage drama, conflicts, and personality differences for the good of the team. And, we enjoyed it…
How cool would that be for a company to run with such genuineness and collaboration?
If you’re in a position of ownership and/or leadership, what would that level of teamwork mean to your company? If you’re an employee, how much more fun would you have at work? How much more would your family, friendships and affiliations be benefit from such unselfishness?
Most companies and organizations have a vision of providing “unleashed” service or products to benefit and improve the lives of others. Employees most generally want to help accomplish this. True leadership inspires and motivates a culture of playing together as described in my book, Unleashed Leadership. In the end, it almost always starts with one person; maybe that’s you.
Whether we want to turn thorns into roses or businesses into thriving enterprises, it all starts by fostering a culture of “we.”
Pass the thorn, please…
Do you or your company need a better process for turning thorns into roses for your company or organization? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.
Quote of the Week:
“I am a part of all that I’ve met….”
~ Excerpt from Ulysses by Lord Tennyson
© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
I’m at my United gate on Sunday getting ready to head out to my conference in beautiful Cartagena, Colombia. If you’ve ever stood in line waiting to get on the plane, you’ve probably seen someone try to carry on luggage that is too big.
On Sunday, I watched a woman with a red roller bag try to convince the gate person that her bag fit. She tried to stuff the bag in the cage they use to show if the bag will fit in the overhead compartment. She stuffed, she squeezed, she prayed. She took it out and tried other geometric positions to no avail. The bag didn’t fit.
The next thing we all saw was her disgustedly opening the suitcase out and throwing things out to make it “smaller.” I don’t know where she was going to then try to stuff that clothing, but rearranging wasn’t going to work. Luckily for me, I walked past her and on to the plane, as she was getting more exasperated by the second.
I’ve seen business leaders try to stuff, squeeze, and pray as they tried to force their desired culture into their company. Just like this lady with the red bag, they were fruitless in trying to motivate by force to eliminate inefficiencies, drama, conflict, and lack of communication. Culture isn’t formed by force; it’s created by influence.
The days of command and control and hope that people will mindlessly fall into place are long gone and those days weren’t always good. It takes 3 factors to create an unleashed leadership in your company. It not only takes all of them, it requires they are all present. They are mentoring, selflessness, and autonomy. I spoke at length on these topics during my speech to the group of insurance executives at the conference. I will write about these concepts over the course of days on this blog.
The takeaway for today is this…
If you’re trying to squeeze and force your desired culture into your business, you’re going to end up as exasperated as the woman with the red bag at the United gate. Discover the art of influence and become an unleashed leader.
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved